Our Kids' Blog

Great-Grandparents: Grandma T

March 15th, 2012 by Mommy


Grandma T with baby Rachelle

Thelma was born in Missouri. She married Charles while she was in college. After moving several times, they had their children in Cincinnati. While her children were in upper-level classes, she returned to Missouri Teachers College to complete her elementary education degree. She then taught in a Cincinnati elementary school until retirement. While the children were in school she was a substitute teacher in the school system her children attended. In Cincinnati she was an active artist, painting most of her life. All of her children’s homes are filled with art from her hand. The inspiration of most of her art was the places she knew or visited including a trip to Europe following her husband’s death. Her life did extend beyond her husband’s and she enjoyed the privilege of knowing all of her grandchildren.

A college education for a woman in her era was not common. Her daughter followed in her footsteps and received her degree in teaching which she used until retirement. This legacy of education is a strong one in our family where all the women have continued on to complete their college degrees along with the men.

Mama does have of memories of time with Grandma T. She passed away while Mama was still in elementary school, so while her memories are limited they are clear. Mama remembers the twin beds we would sleep in when we would visit. The apartment building she lived in was unique to Mama as a child because she knew no one else who lived in an apartment. The apartment was very close to an ice cream shop which she remembers visiting. One New Years Eve, Grandma T watched Philip and Mama while we all watched the Wizard of Oz on TV. Mama remembers being very scared during the movie and hiding among the blankets we were camping in on the floor. Mama remembers the apartment as being very full. All of the walls were covered with art. We would be allowed to play, if we were quiet, in a basement area, back drive, and in the apartment. On a visit to Grandma T’s one summer Philip and Mama were introduced to our first non-parent tennis lesson. Forgive the random remembrances, because these are about all Mama has of her time with her Grandma T.

Mama is pleased to have her own selection of Grandma T’s art to hang in her house. Mama’s has been told that Grandma T never thought a painting to be completed. She was known to get a paint brush and paints out to make changes to works on her wall. What a fun perspective on life!

Dad’s favorite memory of his mother is: that she often took him to art school with her.

Her legacy to her family was her art skill and the inspiration of art. Mama has seen first hand examples of this legacy in both her aunts art interests and in the help her own father has given her in art projects where he showed his own skill in perspective and drawing.


Three generations – Grandma T, Philip, and Rachelle. Photo taken outside of Grandma T’s Cincinnati apartment.


A family visit – Grandma T and two of her children’s families, Ann and Philip. Ann was taking the photo. From the left Uncle Don, Lynn, Laura, Grandma T, Joyce, Philip, Phil, and Rachelle.


One of Phil’s favorite pastimes was baseball. This photo was taken outside of the Cincinnati Reds ballpark.

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